1.31.2006

Why Sam Ash Sucks

You may remember that I recently got my first electric guitar back from Bob yesterday.
Last night, I posted an ad on Freecycle to get a little practice guitar amp (I used to have a little fender and marshall practice amp, but I don't know what happened to either one of them).  But I figured if someone had one on Freecycle, that'd be cool.
 
I got a hit back almost instantly. Someone had an Audio Centron H15P that they wanted out of their basement. I had thought that AC was into PA's but I was game.
 
I picked it up today and my suspicions were confirmed-It was a 15" cabinet for a PA. But, I figured I could unload it at Sam Ash or Guitar Center (since both were on the way back to work) and trade it for a little $40 or $50 practice amp. 
 
I lugged it to Sam Ash first (the friggin' thing is heavy).  I waited 10 minutes for someone to even acknowledge me...and when they did, the visible sneer was enough to know that my visit was going to go poorly. The pro-audio guy came up to the front of the store and took one look at the cabinet and gave me a look like.. "Dude, wtf?"  I tried to explain Freecycle and how I was looking for a little practice amp and just wanted some leverage to do a trade.
 
He wasn't having any of it. He gave me this story about how he couldn't sell a single cabinet. And how it wouldn't match up with anything. And how he couldn't clean it (apparently they were fresh out of compressed air). So, whatever. I lugged it back out to the car....remembering with vivid detail what it was I hated about Sam Ash.
 
They're f***in' snobs. Oh...they were more than eager to help in 2000 when I had a couple grand to drop on gear...but dude...they couldn't get me out of the store fast enough. He didn't even plug it in to let me know if it worked (up to this point, I hadn't even heard it)...or try to get me with a guitar guy to look at practice amps (you never know, I might have taken one anyway)....nope. Just a thank you and good night.
 
So, I loaded back up and headed the 2 miles down the road to Guitar Center. And once again lugged it back in.  And right away there was a difference.  Interest. The dude at the door greeted me right away. He helped me in. He got the dude (also named Todd) from the Guitar dept. to come over and help me. Todd asked what I was looking to do. "Trade in this beast for a practice amp." No sneering...no nothing. Just a "cool. Let's see what we can do." And he picked up the cabinet and took it back and hooked up an Amp head to it to see what condition the speaker was in.
 
Turns out the low end was shot...not horribly, but a little blown. Enough that they wouldn't be able to give me anything for it.
And that's cool. At least I knew the status. The mids and highs were pretty cherry on the speaker (so it can still be used with the Yamaha powered mixer to rock the block parties this summer). So...after Todd was so helpful (even showing me alternatives and different options), I wanted to walk out of the store with something. So, I picked up the Danelectro Fab Metal distortion pedal. It'll give me just enough crunch, and it was only $16 out the door. 
 
All in all, I can say that from now on, Sam Ash won't even be an option. Mr. Ash and his band of snobs are dead to me. Any gear I need will either come online or from Guitar Center.  It just felt better.
 
And, seeing's how the amp was free and I was only out 16 Jr. Bacon Cheeseburgers, I don't have too much to complain about. :-)
 
-Todd

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